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Get the “Scoop” on Hyper-V during VMworld

VMworld kicks off this week in San Francisco. I happen to know a few loyal VMware IT professionals, and the event is clearly a very exciting time of the year for them – an opportunity to meet other fellow enthusiasts, as well as to learn more about new releases from VMware. But I wonder if they would ever expect to learn more about Microsoft technologies such as Hyper-V and System Center while attending the event. Well, that’s what we’re going to make happen this year, albeit a little creatively.

Before I go into more details, let me first address the most obvious question that VMworld attendees (and IT professionals that are familiar with VMware) are probably asking right now – “why would I want to learn about Hyper-V while attending VMworld?” The answer is simple – to help their careers as technology professionals. Research shows that over 70% of businesses now have more than one virtualization platform in their IT environment. As you can imagine, this trend is opening up opportunities for IT professionals that are familiar with more than one virtualization platform. And if you look at the market data, it is clear that Hyper-V is the one to watch (and try!) . In fact, Microsoft is quickly catching up with VMware in terms of hyper-visor share. IDC data shows that over the last 3 years, Hyper-V has grown usage share 4 times faster than ESX/vSphere.

This progress in the marketplace is no accident. We have gone from strength to strength with successive releases of Windows Server and System Center, and our solution boasts a number of features that surprise IT professionals, especially those that have not looked our way recently. Do you fall in that camp? If so, did you know that:

  • Get the scoop on Hyper-V at VMworldHyper-V in Windows Server 2012 supports twice the physical memory, twice the number of active VMs per host, and 32 times the maximum virtual disk size compared to vSphere 5.1?
  • Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 include network and storage virtualization solutions at no extra charge?
  • The storage enhancements in Windows Server 2012 can help you reduce your high availability storage costs by almost half[1]?
  • In a recent benchmarking test, ESG found that a single server running 12 Hyper-V VMs could support the requirements of 48,000 Exchange users[2]?
  • With System Center 2012, you can manage hypervisors from multiple vendors, as well as VMs running in off-premises/public cloud environments?
  • With the software defined networking features in Windows Server and System Center, you can achieve complete VM mobility without having to purchase an expensive add-ons and additional technologies?
  • Using System Center’s integration with Visual Studio, you can isolate root causes of application performance issues right down to the code level, and triage them directly to the development team?

Now, back to VMworld, and our presence there. If you are a VMworld 2013 attendee, and would like to learn more about the progress we have made, we invite you to a free scoop of San Francisco’s finest frozen custard and some casual conversation with our technical experts at our frozen custard stand, located just a block away from Moscone center (201 2nd Street from Noon – 4 pm, to be exact). And needless to say, you are welcome even if you just want the custard!

Varun Chhabra
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Server and Tools


[1] Source: ESG Lab Review Report: Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Storage Performance and Cost Analysis, July 2013

[2] Source: ESG Report: Exchange 2013 on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Performance Testing 

Microsoft Presents “Enabling Consumerization without Compromising Compliance” at BriForum this Week

BriForum kicks off today in Chicago. BriForum 2013 is the only technical virtualization conference that is 100% dedicated to desktop virtualization, VDI, application virtualization, Remote Desktop Services, and the consumerization of IT.

Later this week Microsoft Product Director Jason Leznek will present, “Enabling Consumerization Without Compromising Compliance”.  Jason’s session is on Thursday morning and will cover Microsoft’s approach to delivering people-centric IT is helping customers enable users to work on devices of their choosing with consistent experiences, and providing IT a unified infrastructure for managing and delivering applications and other resources, all while helping organizations protect what is important to them.  See how innovations in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, Windows Intune, and Windows Server 2012 R2 helps organizations enable Consumerization without compromising compliance, with a special focus on the technologies which help reduce VDI storage costs and improve the end user and administrator experience to both session and VM based VDI.

If you can’t wait until Thursday to be there live or wait for a recorded replay, be sure and checkout “What’s New in Remote Desktop Services for Windows Server 2012 R2” on the Remote Desktop Services Blog, or “What’s New in 2012 R2: Making Device Users Productive and Protecting Corporate Information” on Brad Andersons blog.  Both blog posts are lengthy but have a ton of good information we think you’ll find interesting.  You might want to view the six minute video below, “Empowering People-centric IT in the age of Consumerization” to learn more about the topic and where we are headed with personal device management.

And for those of you interested in downloading some of the products and trying them, here are some resources to help you:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview download
  • System Center 2012 R2 Preview download
  • SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 1 (CTP1) download

As always, follow us on Twitter via @WindowsServer

Written by Keith Combs, Microsoft Server and Tools

Microsoft Certificate Server virtualization policy

August 9th, 2010 Comments off

If you are unsure regarding the Microsoft Certificate server virtualization policy, just see the Microsoft Virtual Server support policy knowledgebase article at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897613.

It is worth to mention that a hardware security module (HSM) is always recommended when operating a certification authority on a virtual Windows Server. The rational behind this recommendation is quite simple: The private keys are a most valuable asset and must be highly protected. Decoupling the storage of the keys from the CA database and its configuration is a smart decision! In case the worst case happens and the virtual CA image gets out of your control, you still haven’t lost the private key because it is stored in the HSM.

I always feel very concerned when CA administrators suggest to run offline CAs as virtual machines without an HSM. This is a great money saving opportunity – they tell me … The worst case scenario is burning the virtual machine with no HSM in place on a DVD as a secure backup solution. What if the DVD is lost /duplicated/becoming unreadable? They could loose their entire PKI topology sooner or later.

In summary, a Windows online or offline CA is a good candidate for a virtual environment if you have a reliable Hyper-V setup in place and a the CA keys are stored securely in an HSM.

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